i honestly cannot understand reviews for mark haddon’s a spot of bother that say that this book is ‘amusing‘ or ‘funny,’ let alone ‘very funny.’ probably because i got grandparents who are really old, and my parents are currently in denial over their mid life crisis.
you don’t need a synopsis of this book. if you do, you would have googled for a less cynical website, and certainly not this blog.
you could even say that i am quite disturbed by this book. a mind, my dear lads, is a horrible thing to lose. if drives one to do terrible things – mostly because they have justified it for themselves inside their heads. justifications which appear to be, by some twist of reason, quite logical. and the world SHOULD have understood. but since it does not – and boy, what a crazy world we live in – we pass these incidents off as acts of madness. it is this, that affects me.
i am not saying that my grandparents have gone senile. tho, it would be an easy way to forgive them for their constant loss of short term memory. in a way, i actually refuse to believe that they are in any way crazy. i am no certified psychologist, but i insist that their outbursts is really frustration, because it is not easy for them to make sense of the world around them. heck, even in my twenties, i am not too sure i understand what is exactly going on around me half the time anyway.
so all those things that happen to george, the book’s lead character, well, they’re just human. paranoia. not wanting to be a burden to others. a tendency towards aesthetics despite lack of talent to produce them himself. fear of living. fear of death. jealousy. you know what, plenty of people take revenge if they walk in on their wife in bed with another man. now, to hold that jealousy back in one’s own head – now that’s something. really. i would have gone rabid ape.
i think we are too quick to pass off these feelings and emotions as madness, jut because it happens to old people. when i throw a tantrum, it is me being critical. some would even call it creative. or at the very least, a disgruntled perfectionist bitch. but say a really really old person throws a tantrum. he will terus kena call a crazy geezer. well they’re trying to figure out the world too. and you know what? if i get to hit the ages of 70 or 80, and i still can’t figure things out, i would absolutely go all suze orman on the people around me too.
so now. should you read this book? yes. because mark brings you a snippet of what happens in the head of an old man who tries to reason things inside his own head. a glimpse of the kind of depression an old man experiences on his own. in my personal opinion, not a hundred percent accurate. not that i would know any better. but the writer got pretty damn close, for sure.
and i think that’s important.